Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I Present Captain Killian Jones, Better Known as Hook, Love

For those of us who devote our Sunday nights at 8pm to an hour in front of ABC or have DVR set to record that same hour, just in case - well this is for you.

At that time on that channel is the show Once Upon a Time, now on its third season. I have been watching since the beginning. Occasionally catching up in the morning after. But I have never missed an episode. It is one of my favorite shows, especially since I grew up on fairy tales. My cousins and I once creating our own "fairy tale museum". If you have been watching, you have met Hook.

Not this Hook:
Trust me, I would not be drooling over this version of Hook, perms not a good thing, and I'm fairly certain he wears a corset....

No I mean this Hook:
I mean who wouldn't drool? Now wipe the drool off your keyboard.....and get the wine, or rum..whichever you prefer, and we shall continue!

For costumers, this show is deadly. It is catnip to us well at least to me. I look at all the costumes and go, I want that and that and that and that...When I first saw the episode with Hook, my immediate thought was how much he and Lover looked similar. Well that was the second thought. The first being, Lover would look hot in a leather doublet. And that I finally understand the whole pirate thing. I know, I know. I'm a little late in catching that train.

This is our dear Hook. I went through so many patterns and rewatched so many episodes. Had to get each piece perfect. This is how I learned the doublets on the men are very similar to the Tudor/Elizabethan doublets. Which means The Tudor Tailor has the patterns I needed! Hallelujah! 

With a doublet from Tudor Tailor, Simplicity 4923, and McCall's 4486, several bottles of wine, some SoCo, pirate movies, Once, stolen kisses, the black cat, and much swearing, I had this and I know the tabs need lengthening:

And my absolute fave:

Isn't it absolutely delicious? I mean seriously, it's Hook! I love having Lover who is willing to dress up in costume with me. He even found the boots! 


PS: That is a real sword.......

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Pirates Ahoy!

So this year for faire was Pirates! Specifically Once Upon a Time Pirates. My garb is five pieces: white shirt, black leggings, red paneled skirt, brown corset, faux leather doublet.

The doublet is the best part of this whole look. It is based off the white outfit worn by Snow White in the second season of Once Upon a Time.

I started with the bodice pattern of the Fitted English Gown from The Tudor Tailor, and played from there. I justify it as a separate because I can wear it with several different outfits. Not just my pirate. It was supposed to be for a Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge. Never posted in time. Oopsy. 
Just the Facts:
The Challenge: #16 Separates
Fabric: 1 yard tooled faux leather. (Not accurate but I can't wear leather) 1 yard red cotton
Pattern: Started as English Fitted Gown from The Tudor Tailor
Year: We can say 1500s-1600s because of the pattern but It's really fantasy
How Historically Accurate is it: Not at all. Well maybe like 1% because I used a Tudor Tailor pattern
Notions: 3 brass clasps, thread
Hours to Complete: I really didn't keep track, it went pretty quick save for all the seam removal. 
First Worn: Not yet. Only for the fit check and my brief photos.
Total Cost: $15 for the tooled leather, $6 for the cotton lining, and $6 for the clasps (half off sale on notions!!!) oh and $4 for the new seam ripper. So $31 give or take a little. 

The clasps are almost identical to the ones used on Hook's Leather doublet in Once Upon a Time. More on his look later...

And now the full garb:

And of Course my lovely rose from my dear love. 

Cheers or rather Arrr!!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Challenge #19: Wood, Metal, and Bone

Haha! Another post! I'm on a roll here. It also helps I have pictures and all that good stuff. Well and a bit of time and power, the power being the most important.

My entry for the 19th Challenge is a pair of bodies roughly set in the 1500s. I know there's no evidence for them, but I find one pair of stays easier to use for multiple gowns rather than building the support into each gown. Plus for an impoverished princess, it's much more cost efficient. The smock I made last summer. It's of cotton muslin and completely handsewn - save the "blackwork" on the cuffs, that was done with the fancy stitches last year on the new machine.

These stays started out as a Simplicity pattern. I tweaked it and made it my own. They are completely boned with 1/8 inch round reed, two per each 1/4 inch channel. There is one piece of 1/2 inch flat reed at center front, and at each side center back. The stays spiral lace up the back which I realize in looking at these pics was not properly done. Oops. These stays are also a valuable lesson in the importance of tabs. Tabs are your best friends for fully boned stays. Trust me. 

Now we have the universal petticoats and bumroll to amp up the skirts. I live in fear of farthangles and have only ever made one which was a disaster. Panniers ironically are much easier. I also made the necklace and earrings for this. The necklace is in need of a different ribbon, but it works. 

 I call these my universal petticoats because I wear them with everything. They're cotton muslin and have pocket slits. Two are simple pleated rectangles. The third worn in the middle has two deep ruffles. And yes they need a good starching. Bumroll is worn on my hips not my waist. I gather that's the better place for it.

And now the facts:

The Challenge #19: Wood, Metal, and Bone
Fabric: 1 yard patterned cotton, 1 yard interlining also cotton, 1 yard cotton muslin for lining
Pattern: Started as Simplicity 2621. I played and integrated the tabs, lowered the back, separated the strap. And kinda completely disregarded the instructions

Year: 1500s. More or less. 
Notions: Bias tape, pale yellow/off white. Eyelets, thread, 1/8’’ round reed, Three pieces 1/2 ‘’ flat reed for center front “busk” and back on either side of eyelets. 
How Historically Accurate: Um…reed is accurate for stays, but they are difficult to find evidence of prior to the 1580s, as far as I know. Plus cotton wasn’t used. But alas, I am a poor grad student and it is underwear. It gives the right shape. 
First Worn: Just briefly for pics. And then for the photoshoot. 
Total Cost: The reed was $10 for an American pound. The muslin is about $2 a yard. And the cotton was $12 total. So $24 total. Most was in the stash

Now for the dress!


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

This makes it two posts in a week! I blame Halloween and the fact I have power here. So important. I also finished a Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge! EARLY!

So here we go:

About 6 years ago I made this costume for Halloween. It was my first big project. Complete with a corset I drafted myself, petticoat, bustle pad, and chemise. I admit to there being a zipper in the back of the bodice, but I couldn't think of anything else to use, and it is put in so well so it stays. This is what it looked like:

Yes I am quite young in this shot. A senior in high school. Note the long sleeves, the slight bustle and the train. I never like how the skirt fell. It didn't have enough weight. I then made a new bodice to this posted in a post a year ago. But this would be the skirt with the new bodice. 

I still need to adjust the bodice for this look, but the cape shows up later. It's so pretty. With silver moons and stars on the tulle.

So last year I got it in my head that I needed to repair the skirt, line it with something. I bought several yards of black cotton broadcloth, took apart the skirt, laid it out and cut out the lining. The next part should be easy. It was until I ended up with a wicked headcold that left me unable to look down. I got better and then we lost power. Damn you Sandy. I tried stitching by candlelight which failed miserably. So I put it aside. This year I was motivated and on October 28th, I tore out seams and redid the skirt, did crash course research and made an Order sash, and removed the sleeves from the original bodice. Throw in Catwoman's velvet gloves, some pretty pins, and sparkly jewelry and you get the Queen of Darkness in Court Dress.

Upon taking these pics I realized for this type of dress, I should be in a tiara. I don't currently have one for the Queen. For now her Bat headpiece will have to do. She is much pleased by her cats and her throne. You can see two in the pictures above. (the black one refused to be photographed from anywhere but the stairs.

And now for the Historical Sew Fortnightly Facts:

The Challenge #22: Masquerade
Fabric: Originally 3 black velvet curtains, 1 yard muslin. Added in: 4 yards black broad cloth, about ¼ purple satin
Pattern: Originally from “Patterns for Theatrical Costume”, there was a lot of research about court attire.
Year: Um…bustle era? There is a bustle under there. Maybe more Steampunk
Notions: Three fancy pins for the sash, thread, gloves, jewelry
How Historically Accurate: It looks historically accurate. But it’s really not. There’s a zipper in the back of the bodice. And it was never meant to be historically accurate.
Hours to Complete: I originally made the bodice and skirt 6 years ago. Started the skirt redo last Halloween, got sick, Sandy came. Finally finished. Maybe three or four working straight.
First Worn: Day before Halloween for pics. Grad Students don’t dress on Halloween for Class
Total Cost: Um….maybe $50 overall from the beginning?

The Queen and Her Pirate Wish You All
Happy Halloween!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

What Has Become of Halloween?

I love Halloween, it is one of my favorite holidays. Not necessarily for the sake of being scared, I am very close to several of the top haunted attractions and yet have never attended. I only do scary at certain times of the day. I love Halloween for the chance to dress as someone you're not for a little while. As I have learned to sew, Halloween has become more about showing what I can make rather than what I purchase. However it is what is purchased as "costume" that has become increasingly more disturbing.

It first hit me when I was in the locker rooms after working out. A fellow classmate who happens to be fourteen asked me what I was going to be for Halloween. Having to attend class and fight my way through costumed celebrators on Halloween, I answer "a tired grad student". This being my costume for the last time Halloween happened here. (more on that later). "What about you?" She answers that she doesn't know because she feels to young for the costumes.

I think about her words as I get home, shower, and hit the internet for a bit of research. I tend to avoid Halloween stores for several reasons but mostly because I make my own costumes. My last purchased costume was ten years ago. A quick Google search turns up what I want. I have stumbled upon the land of the short skirts, the land of too much sexy! Everything has been sexed up from Darth Vader to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Even Snow White is showing quite a bit of skin, seriously, she's a princess!

The more depressing part continues as you look through the teens and then the girls' costumes. I was unaware a short skirt was mandatory to dress up for Halloween! Where are the fun costumes that let girls be girls! Certainly we have Supergirl - dressed in her traditional colors but then also in PINK. Because girls are supposed to like pink. I have never worn pink willingly in my life. Partially because it doesn't work with red hair and partially because it's been defined as the "norm" for girls. And yes, why must a little girl look like such a sexed up Red Riding Hood?

I'm a little okay with the pink Supergirl. She's at least standing in a powerful pose. But the Red Riding Hood? Really? If anyone watches Once Upon A Time, there is such a better costume idea! After much searching through the "Top Costumes" (don't get me started on the "Unique Costumes" - the identical ones...) I have found girls' costumes that I would actually allow my children to wear if I had any.

Yes the boxer is in pink. But I'm a First Degree Black Belt in MMA, I'd rather have a daughter in that then something else. And the little magician is just so cute! And a Wonder Woman that's actually appropriate to a child! Yay! Personally I'm partial to Wonder Woman, I wore a toddler's version when I was really little.

To me, these over sexed costumes don't work. Partially because they're so silly. (Anyone ever seen a firefighter in a dress?) And partially because they're not fair. I have participated in costume contests where I spent hard work, time and effort to craft a unique Halloween costume, but have lost to a cookie cutter over sex prepackaged costume.

In addition, Halloween tends to be very cold around here, cold enough to require a sweatshirt and a turtleneck under one's costume (ah the fond arguments of my childhood). At least the smart ones tend to choose their costumes that way. Especially since last year we had no power and the year before that there was snow on the ground.

Am I knocking sexy costumes? No. I've worn them. I went as Catwoman one year for Halloween, fully covered in a purple catsuit. I froze, and kept my green cape on for most of it. But I made that costume. The only sexy costumes I have brought are for non public wear. So no, I'm not knocking sexy costumes, but they have their place, and that certainly isn't on a child. I was 21 when I was Catwoman. When I was 14, I went as Zorro, the male version.

Now I'm plotting to finish my Queen of Darkness Costume which is Victorian influenced. But I can still be sexy, because that's about character and attitude, not what you're wearing. So until they bring back the good costumes, I'm gonna continue to promote creativity and dressing up like a super heroine, because that is much better than cookie cutter overdone costumes.


PS: Pictures of Halloween Costumes, save my Catwoman Costume are from www.partycity.com. They are not used for any financial gain and all may be found online. I have not individually linked each pic back nor written citations. Catwoman is my costume based off the DC version from the 90s.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

New Laptop!!

I will be back! It feels so good to be on my new laptop. It took almost three months, but I'm back! Guard your seam rippers....


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Challenge #12: Pretty, Pretty Princesses

So Pretty, Pretty Princesses the 12th challenge of the Historical Sew Fortnightly. I know yay! I actually did a challenge! Seeing as how life has interfered with pretty much all the others.....

Now, princesses, when we hear that word we all likely think of those really really rich costumes from the Middle Ages or possibly even from Disney. (And the historical accurate versions are truly drool worthy, I have plans for those...) Which is a great starting point. It helps with brain storming. So originally I thought of Queen Isabella, the She-Wolf of France from the 14th Century in England. (Think of the French Princess from Braveheart, I know more drool worthy costumes). But then I had a totally out of the box idea, my absolute favorite monarch from history, Nefertari, beloved royal wife of Ramses the Great.

This is an image of Nefertari from her tomb built by Ramses the Great. The two of them are considered a great love story, possibly the greatest love story from the Ancient World. Ramses valued her so greatly that her name appears on the Treaty of Kaddish, the world's first peace treaty,  and she kept a correspondence with the queen of the Hittites. Her tomb in the Valley of the Queens is one of the largest and most ornate tombs. So there, that's my princess for the challenge. And I have to say it but The Ten Commandments got it wrong, Nefertari was so much in love with Ramses. 

I have big ornate plans to make her crown, collar, and bracelets. I will eventually. I have to finish faire stuff first. So I started at the beginning with her basic underdress, a simple skirt with two bands going over the breasts. 

 Dress Front

Dress Back

This is made of two yards of handkerchief weight white linen. I bought it from fabrics-store.com. I got the optic white. Egyptians valued their linen, the richer you were the whiter your linen. The two straps are self lined and gathered under the bust then on the top of the shoulders. They are stitched into a band under the bust that helps with the fit. Not necessarily historically accurate but an adaptation for modern views. 

The skirt is trapezoid shaped. It is stitched to the band right under the bust, you can just see the band in the above pictures. The skirt comes down into a point to form a small train. The train is artistic license. To me a train is a symbol of a princess. So I left it. (plus I couldn't figure out how to level the hem)

The gown is completely handsewn. I used undyed linen thread for the basic unseen construction and then bleached linen thread for top stitching and visible seams. 

The gown fastens down the back with hooks and eyes. Originally I had it pinned loose enough to take it on and off, but it didn't look right. Many paintings show the gowns tightly fit to the body. I couldn't think of an accurate way to do this. I mean the Egyptians were great innovators, they may have had hooks and eyes or something similar. I just may not have access to the information to prove it. I know it's a stretch. 

Now to finish off the look, we add two collars, one smaller and more everyday like and the other richer and more court like. 

"Court Collar"

"Everyday Collar"

Oh and how can one forget the absolutely awesome shoes. They're from Lover. and they just scream Egyptian Queen to me. 

There are plans for a photoshoot involving the whole look, but alas it has some problems. The gown gown is partially see through, so I need to make something to wear under it. Which is another research project. And I have to get a wig. Red hair, despite belonging to Seti I and Ramses the Great, doesn't look right here. 

Until then, Enjoy more pics:

And this would be my completely out of the box look of a Princess, or in this case a queen for the challenge. Now to talk lover into being Ramses....